Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

This Separated Isle: Portrait of an Invisible Britain

image for event: This Separated Isle: Portrait of an Invisible Britain

Featured Speakers

Paul Sng, Khadea Kuchenmeister, Tanatsei Gambura & Alicia Bruce

Even as COVID-19 made a seismic impact across the world, the cracks exposed by Brexit, Black Lives Matter and rising levels of race hate crimes revealed bitter divisions in British society.

But then there are moments of togetherness and solidarity: the residents of Kenmure Street in Glasgow’s South Side who stopped the Immigration Department from deporting their neighbours, or the 200,000 people across the UK who marched in support of Black Lives Matter last summer.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, and with questions over the breakup of the United Kingdom refusing to dissipate, how do people across Britain choose to navigate the tensions in this divided land?

Attempting to break through outdated concepts of Britishness, filmmaker Paul Sng has edited and curated This Separated Isle, a book of stunning portraiture and testimony.

With a foreword by Kit de Waal, This Separated Isle explores how concepts of ‘Britishness’ reveal an inclusive range of opinions and understandings about our national character. Featuring a diverse range of fascinating photographic portraits of people from across the UK and their accompanying narrative stories, this landmark book examines the relationship between identity and nationhood, revealing not only what divides us, but also the ties that bind us together as a nation.

It is an immense honour to welcome Paul back to the bookshop for a celebration of this extraordinary book and the humans within it. We hope you'll join us in unpacking it!

This event will be taking place in the bookshop garden, for details about Covid-related health & safety measures, check out our FAQs HERE. Please dress warmly & bring a blanket if you tend to get chilly :)

Our Host:

Khadea Kuchenmeister Kuchenmeister is an artist and producer based in Edinburgh, exploring histories and storytelling through the use of collectivity, as a way to encourage space for self-exploration. Her recent work engages with people from the African diaspora to explore food auto-ethnography to locate the knowledges within bodies and relationships to acknowledge other forms of being within contemporary practice.

Our Speakers:

Paul Sng (he/him) is a bi-racial British Chinese filmmaker and visual artist whose work is driven by methodical research, creative storytelling and a collaborative approach that strives for inclusivity and diversity. Underpinning all of his films is an eye for strong characters and compelling narratives, all the while working to establish and maintain trustful relationships both in front of and behind the camera. His documentaries have been broadcast on national television and screened internationally and include Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain (2015), Dispossession (2017) and Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché (2021). He is the editor of two narrative photography books, Invisible Britain: Portraits of Hope and Resilience (2018) and This Separated Isle (2021).

Tanatsei Gambura (she/they) is a poet, intermedia artist and cultural practitioner working transnationally. As a producer, her interests lie in creating socially-engaged and inventive experiences that centre justice, care, and community. Currently, she's the programme producer for Africa in Motion Film Festival exploring the socio-cultural and geopolitical contexts of African filmmaking and film-watching.

Alicia Bruce (she/her) is a working-class photographer, community collaborator, educator and activist based in Scotland. Her photography sits between documentary and staged imagery focusing on communities, environments and human rights. Alicia’s photographs are held in several public collections including National Galleries of Scotland, University of St Andrews and the RSA.

Featured Books